a memory misshapen as much by recurrence as by avoidance.

June 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

The septic smells of mid-summer at Cincinnati Seminary: where cirrus smoke puffed from the water treatment plant upwind mingled with the indigestive burps of the Victorian-era plumbing below: whose high hillside vantage over the city had no effect on the humidity that hung in the air like sodden laundry on a line: which had become, after four years of fees spent and three more under scholarship pursuing degrees of Divinity, home. Lexington had become for R. a memory misshapen as much by recurrence as by avoidance. Lounging on the untended bluff behind the library, where the hillside that rolled downward elsewhere had eroded into a cliff, these repetitions and evasions were indistinguishable. They were, what’s more, as routine as his lunchtime.

Most days, when weather allowed, R. came here, his cafeteria purchase brown-bagged and eaten in self-imposed exile. He was, though, by no means in seclusion. The narrow strip of sittable land faced mostly shrubs, between whose thicketed green and thorny brown one could manage glimpses, if not a view, of the modest downtown. Over time, drivers angling steeply up or down the road between him and the library noted R.’s ritual with all the attention most might pay a flag. The most invisible things of life are the ones seen daily.

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